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Jailhouse Informants

Elderly woman in prison

The Appeal Podcast: The Problem With Jailhouse Informants

Jailhouse informants are a fixture of pop culture, helping TV prosecutors secure convictions in exchange for leniency or other favors. But the public—and by extension, juries—are largely ignorant of just how common, and how damaging, jailhouse informants are to the criminal legal system. This week, University of California, Irvine School of Law professor Alexandra Natapoff […]

House of Cards

‘Cold case’ playing cards were just introduced into Delaware prisons in hopes of producing tips on unsolved homicides—but critics warn that informants cultivated behind bars can be dangerously unreliable.

The Shadowy World of Jailhouse Informants: Explained

In 2006, Ann Colomb and her three sons were convicted of running one of the largest crack cocaine distribution rings in Louisiana. Federal prosecutors said that, over the course of a decade, the family bought $15 million worth of drugs with a street value of more than $70 million. Over 30 witnesses were prepared to […]